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Suzumiya Haruhi no Yuutsu: The most over-rated anime ever? May 9, 2006

Posted by Lupus in Anime, Ramblings.
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Before I’m zerged by hundreds of raving Haruhiists out seeking the blood of their god’s enemies, let me say that I enjoy the show a lot, and hold it in very high regards.

But I have no doubt about it: The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya is overrated. Despite all that it has going for it – interesting story, likeable characters (Mikuru is annoying as hell though), excellent direction and execution – Haruhi and her merry friends are unlikely to find a place in the Pantheon; at least not in my Pantheon. It is an excellent show – but I don’t think it’s as good as everyone makes it out to be. And no, I’m not just saying this to be different.

What Suzumiya lacks is CHARM. Oh sure it has that applenty in its various characters, but what I mean is that feeling you get when you watch something that really strikes a chord. I got it when I watched Neon Genesis. I got it when I watched Azumanga Daioh. And I get it with every single Studio Ghibli movie I’ve watched.

What really set those series apart from the competition is that they are (or were) different and unique. Evangelion is the father of the whole “mind-fuck” genre, and still, to my mind, unsurpassed in mind-fucking. Azumanga is a unique comedy that isn’t LAUGH OUT LOUD funny (though it’s often that), but an innocent funny that brings a smile straight from your heart. Ghibli movies take often used themes and ideas, inject them with a large doze of childhood and imagination, and reaches out and connects with your inner child.

Suzumiya doesn’t touch me in that way (though I would let the three girls touch me in whatever way they want). It doesn’t grab my attention – and my imagination – and run with it. Despite its roster of divinities, aliens, espers and time-travellers, Suzumiya Haruhi is still essentially a generic schoolyard comedy slash mystery.

Neither of its parts are particularly great: the jokes are, particularly Mikuru’s continue harassment, a bit hit and miss (I think it’s the timing). The mystery fails as a focus because we don’t (and probably won’t) really find out much about the nature or origin of Suzumiya’s powers. The mixing up of the episodes seems no more than a gimmick to me, though I’ll have to wait till the entire show is done to draw any conclusion on this part. Mikuru tries too hard to be moe.

The sum of the parts are more than the parts alone, but it’s still not enough to generate a resonance in me. That is the heart of the problem. I want to love Haruhi, I want to laugh at all the jokes, I want to fall head first into the mystery – but alas, that important something is missing.

I admit I’m drawing early conclusions, but so are the people who are declaring Haruhi their new god.

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Comments»

1. Os - May 10, 2006

Agreed. It’s a good thing I’m the one writing the posts for the show on our blog because if it was one other member, it’d all be “OMG HAWT. HARUHI HAVE SECKS W/ ME!”. Yes, I do enjoy it. But it’s probably only in my #30-20 range on my list of top shows.

2. drmchsr0 - May 11, 2006

In Japan, Haruhi is quite the smash hit. free fucking advertising all over the fucking place.

I’ll admit Haruhi is a lot different than most amine series (Ito Noizi is MY NEW GOD, after Carnelian, Yuu Watase and Takashi Takeuchi, and the novels hsve won awards, but when so many people are screaming like little babies, it’s hard to ignore that.

I haven’t been completely consumed by Haruhism yet, but I fear it’s a matter of time before I go off the deep end.

3. jpmeyer - May 12, 2006

It’s weird. I don’t know if I can say that Haruhi is overrated, but that’s more because I still can’t tell if it’s the roar of fanboys or if it’s because it actually is really well liked across the board. It is up to #2 on ANN’s ranking list though, so it’s probably more of the latter.

I’m also not sure if the screaming fanboys are drowning out any dissenting voices, either. Are the people that don’t care about the show not speaking up because of the fact that they don’t like the show and thus don’t watch it?

One other thing that I noticed that makes the show seem better is that each episode is very different, so there’s a good chance that you’ll come across people saying something like “this episode is awesome” as well as “I didn’t think the first one was that good, but this one is great!” and so on.

I do think that this show is NOT going to age well.

4. lolikitsune - May 15, 2006

>>interesting story, likeable characters

The story is horribly cliche. One of the reasons the movie in ep 1 was bad was because of the plot, and now the show has the exact same plot. And likeable characters? There are a total of two. Suzumiya needs to learn her lesson and get beat up by a bunch of gangsters.

5. Lupus - May 17, 2006

lolkitsune: I think most of the characters are likeable. Personally I only get ticked off by Mikuru and Haruhi in her more insane and sinister moments, but considering how many people are getting off over Mikuru I think she qualifies as likeable. Yuki is arguable, since she has no personality, but then at least she isn’t annoying.

The story is a cliche with a spin, because the centre of attention isn’t our protagonist Kyon, but Haruhi, who isn’t aware that she is the centre of attention. That spin is enough to make it interesting for me. I also like that whole “three years ago” thing, and I do want to find out what happened. Which I’m not going to do with the anime, and will probably not happen in the novels for a long time if it keeps being the profitable milk-cow it is.

6. Grim - June 14, 2006

This so called Haruhism is merely a movement triggered by the nature of our current society. And, more importantly, this has happened everytime there was a strikingly unique influence in the entertainment industry. So, what I am trying to say is that this phenomenon is nothing out of the ordinary and will pass by in time. This isnt the first show to bring a new perspective to free-thinkers and this wont be the last.

As for the show itself, it definitely qualifies as one of those random thought-provoking comedies/school-kids show bound to come out of the anime industry sooner or later. If I were to find a comparison, I would relate this show with FLCL, Excel Saga and shows of that sort. But, there is definitely nothing in the show that suggests or justifies the maddening fame that its gathering in the hearts and minds of “ignorant” viewers who only like to “go with the flow”. I would still say (like the people above me have already said) that perhaps that opinion might (or might not) change with the completion of the show.

7. Nergal, Inc. - July 5, 2006

Frankly, I think Haruhi Suzumiya is ass. Haruhi herself is an obnoxious pushy loudmouth. She’s a sociopath who doesn’t even see the people around her as human, and certainly has no regard for their feelings. She gets away with it by a combination of her looks and by abusing the good nature of those around her. I put up with enough people like her when I went through high school the first time – I sure don’t need to relive it. And it’s sure not what I watch anime for.

8. Shredder - July 22, 2006

I hadn’t thought of it explicitly that way, Nergal, but I would have to say you’re right on. Unlike most anime bitches, she never really redeemed herself or showed a better side. The rock concert ep she kind of helped out I guess, but at the end of the series I still couldn’t see her as any less bitchy than at the start. If she didn’t have looks she would be through.

9. Lupus - July 23, 2006

Grim: I wouldn’t group Suzumiya with FLCL or Excel Saga, except maybe in the sense that they all garnered a cult following. I wouldn’t say Suzumiya is thought-provoking either, but it has its moments.

Nergal & Shredder: I think an important factor to consider is that the anime is based mainly on only the first of 8 novels, and it is still on-going with more novels to come. As such, anime Haruhi’s character developement is very limited within the greater scope of the entire story. Of course, as a stand-alone character the anime Haruhi is an ass, but I think she’s more complex than that. My Haruhi wrap-up post elaborates on my feelings towards Haruhi as a character.

10. Lauren - June 7, 2007

Lol you’re wrong. you see if it was the most over-rated anime ever it would actually suck like azumanga daioh (boring, unfunny, slow) and love hina (boring, unfunny, unromatnic, bad characters, unoriginal, no charm, everything in this anime has been done to death yet this anime justmakes it much worse).

I agree it’s over-rated and I do love this anime, but I’m not into haruhiism and I don’t proclaim this anime as the BEST EVER. But I like it a lot and can’t wait for season 2.

11. zipper - December 2, 2007

Finally an article that proves this is an OVER-RATED anime. Azumana Daiho does suck and is over rated, but is there any other anime that inspires a large group of people dancing the theme song in the middle of a city? NO, just Haruhi Suzumiya. But it’s over-rated-ness cannot top dragon ball z.

12. rubberband4me - August 21, 2009

Meh, I remember watching this show, finished the first season to look for any redeeming factors for its annoying main character. I definately feel there are much better shows out there, I’m going to skip season two.

13. Lei - October 3, 2009

Its because fanboys fap to it, that’s why it’s overrated. Same with K-On

14. Breathe! - September 18, 2010

I can’t stand these obsessed weird otaku’s I see at conventions and youtube who discovered Melancholy Of Haruhi Suzumiya 4 years late and are on a their hype thinking they’re the only one! I can tell you, they are deffinetly not the only one. I remember watching it as soon as it was realeased in Japan more or less and me and a small group of friends loved the series to bits and basically it was totally unknown, then the shit storm came and overly obsessed idiots started dragging it through the mud, making sure they made it totally unberable and irritating to watch for others. Now if you go to an anime expo, you see more haruhi’s and mikuru’s than chracters from indefinitely overrated anime/manga series such as Bleach and Naruto. I am not happy that my once second favourite anime ever (second to Kanon 2006, my fav series of all time) has become totally saturated and it is now in the same league as most of the sell-out series that Shonen Jump churns out.

For the record, Haruhi’s story is amazing, and the characters are very charming. But otaku’s never are able to capture said charm when they cosplay. Give up please.

/rantover

15. Tom Tornados Skibski - February 15, 2012

You know, I agree with your statement saying that the anime is overrated. However, what I cannot concur with is… well, you’re not going to like this, your enjoyment of the show. However, it’s still your opinion, but do you mind if I address my own opinions on this show? Let me just say that The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya, the anime, in my perspective, is an absolute LITTER. Though not for the entire work, the so-called “heroine,” also referred to as Haruhi Suzumiya herself, is the main problem. For what she is worth, I find bits and pieces of atrocious cockiness, selfishness, bossiness, and other sorts of negative matter trickling down from her body language and mouth. The worst possible example I could visualize is one episode where she demands a computer from her school’s computer lab. If it wasn’t enough that she nagged and nagged for just one computer, the fling into the briar patch occurs when she literally grabs a male’s hand and puts it onto another character’s, or I should say Mikuru Asahina’s, cleavage, then proceeds to push the male clambering down on Mikuru taking multiple pieces of illusive photographs of the male “sexually harassing” Mikuru. and the final stab is when the male fearfully (using the term VERY loosely) concedes to permit Haruhi to grab a computer, just for winning such fool-hardy argument thinking no one will believe Haruhi made the male assault Mikuru. This definitely proves that almost EVERY male character in the series are friggin whimpering dogs! That’d be like if the real world was losing arguments to a female child, or even Hilary Clinton. Another thing I will address is the characters. I’ve already mentioned that mischievous witch they call Haruhi and the chickened-out male, but there’s a bit more characters to address in a deplorable tone. I will say it briefly then end this comment because of potential commenting limit: Kyon gives in to I think everything Haruhi wants him to do, Yuki’s just… creepy, with the only good characters like Mikuru and Itsuki. That is all for now.

16. Haruhi Suzumiya - March 2, 2012

HARUHI SUZUMIYA ROCKS YOU CUNTS!

17. Maximillion Genius - February 8, 2013

its a dip shit. No an atrocious moe shit. There is an epidemic in the anime community nowadays that removes their perception of what’s a shit or not. Brainless zombies!!!


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